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SMU News and Information


March 26, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's campus bookstore will nearly double in size this summer when it moves to the Park Cities Plaza. It will occupy the former location of Wild Oats/Sun Harvest Foods between La Madeleine and Horchow Finale.

In its new location at 3060 Mockingbird Lane, the SMU Bookstore, which is operated by Barnes and Noble Booksellers, will occupy 22,000 square feet of space and will expand from nearly 14,000 trade book titles to nearly 60,000. Hours of operation at the new SMU Bookstore will be longer and it will be open seven days a week.

The new SMU Bookstore will include comfortable seating areas for reading, a café serving Starbucks coffee and La Madeleine food items, and access to the Internet for people to hook up their laptop computers. The bookstore also will feature a special area to showcase SMU faculty authors, with space for book-signing events.

"The scholarly offerings will include books published by SMU Press and other university presses that you can't find just anywhere," said Julie Wiksten, director of auxiliary services and SMU's liaison with Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Along with textbooks, the bookstore will feature periodicals, daily newspapers and an expanded offering of merchandise like SMU T-shirts, caps, greeting cards and gifts. Office supplies and room organizers will be available in a school section. A section for juniors and children's books will feature a small stage for community readings to children, aimed at helping introduce children to reading and to SMU. The bookstore will be decorated with the university's colors of red and blue and will celebrate the heritage of SMU through murals, artwork, collages and banners. The new location also offers abundant parking.

"The idea is to combine selling academic textbooks with trade books, creating a college bookstore with community appeal, something of a 'town and gown' effect," said Bill Detwiler, associate vice president of business services for SMU. "This move is a chance to enhance our services to our students while reaching out to the community. With vaulted ceilings and natural light from sky lights, we hope this will be a place people in the community will enjoy spending time."

SMU English Professor and university historian Marsh Terry, along with other faculty, staff and students, will help create an ambiance in the store that displays the rich heritage of SMU and its relationship to the Park Cities and the City of Dallas.

"My function is to gather strategic quotations and historical images of the campus, the presidents and significant chronology of events in academic, sports and student life," Terry said. "It will resonate and say 'SMU,' like other college Barnes and Noble stores do at TCU, Harvard and Yale."

Anthropology chair and Professor Caroline Brettell provided faculty leadership on the bookstore committee.

"When I really got sold on the new bookstore was when I realized that spanning the south end of campus along Mockingbird are religion, the arts, athletics and the bookstore -- representing academics -- facing out to the public," Brettell said.

"It will be distinctive, with more academic and scholarly content than in a normal Barnes and Noble bookstore, and will be a positive link to the community as it makes the scholarship of the faculty more visible to the public," Brettell said. "Book signings for our own faculty and visiting guest lecturers will be more public than events held on campus."

The exterior façade will be adapted to reflect the Collegiate Georgian style of architecture used on the SMU campus that features red brick and beige trim.